Industrialized Construction in Wood – The Role of Digital Tools and Automation


Résumé de la présentation

In 2019 FPInnovations initiated a research roadmap on the future role of industrialized construction in the building sector.  The goal of this roadmap is to ensure that wood building systems are well positioned in the shift from site construction to the factory floor.   This is in response to the culmination several market trends pointing to a future where construction is a digitalised and automated industrial process.

This presentation will provide an overview of the key research findings within the industrialized construction road map. The first topic is the role of digital tools (BIM and DfMA) in the shift to industrialized construction.  The current physical and digital capabilities of the Canadian prefabricated construction industry is then considered in light of state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment and processes currently being used abroad.  In general, the increase of digitization and automation comes with it an increased need for more precision in input materials such as lumber, engineered wood products, and mass timber.  This road map lays out a research agenda to make the precision of digital construction work seamlessly with a natural material such as wood.

Learning objectives:

  • Learn about the current digital and manufacturing capabilities of the Canadian prefabricated building sector.
  • Learn about state-of-the-art automated manufacturing equipment for light frame and mass timber construction.
  • Learn about the cost comparison, and sources of differences, between tall mass timber construction and conventional cast-in-place concrete.
  • Learn about with the cost differences amongst site-built, panelized, and modular construction for light frame wood buildings.

Who's Presenting

Qui présente

Dr. David Fell

Director, Research & Analysis Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd.



David is the director of research and analysis at Forestry Innovation Investment, the B.C, government’s market development agency for forest products. He has worked in the field of sustainable building products for over 20 years researching novel materials, building systems, sustainability, and health the built environment. David recently led a roadmapping exercise into the emergence of industrialized construction and the future role of wood-based solutions for this sector. David completed his Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia in the field of environmental and architectural psychology. He also holds a Master of Science degree in wood science from Oregon State University and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta.

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